BEAVERTON — On Corpus Christi, St. Cecilia parishioners gathered for a rosary and then Mass, where the altar was adorned with flowers arranged by Our Lady of Guadalupe Committee Magdalena. Parishioners then spilled out of the church and wove through the streets with the Eucharist.

More than 300 people walked, sang and prayed as the monstrance was carried by Father Cary Reniva, pastor, and Deacon Bill Richardson.

“It is wonderful to be out of the church and onto the streets to bring the Eucharist into the community,” said parishioner Jim Cassinelli, smiling.

“I feel loved looking at Jesus,” added Sister Dorthy Radcliffe. “Jesus is sufficient for me in life.” 

From neighboring St. John Fisher Parish in Southwest Portland was the Felize family — Cindy, Joshua, Dominic and Paul — who’d attended three times. They said the turnout was as large as it was pre-pandemic. 

Marie Barzen was happy to see friends from other parishes gathered to proclaim their love of the Lord and enjoy fellowship. “We are finally together in an open setting for the first time,” she said. “It was uplifting to talk and share.” 

Vince Rigert, a lifelong St. Cecilia parishioner, said it was “a great opportunity for me to display my faith in a public arena. Our society is in dire need of a new perspective. I pray that a few of Beaverton’s people got that today.”

The procession’s first stop was at the Veterans Memorial Park, where the altar was decorated by the Charismatic Renewal Spanish prayer group. The second altar was at the Beaverton City Library and was decorated by the Legion of Mary. There the crowd paused, knelt and prayed before Our Lord. 

The Knights of Columbus were instrumental in organizing the event. Knights Jeff Petersen and Scott Petersen coordinated the altar servers and facilitated the permitting process with the Beaverton Police Department.

Police officers stood at intersections with flashing lights on cars and motorcycles to guide pilgrims through the permitted route. Onlookers were treated to an exposition of Catholic faith.

Posters depicting 20 eucharistic miracles were displayed at the parish activity center as part of the celebration.

“The flowers were lovely and the people from various churches came and shared our religion with Beaverton,” said Colleen Seed, viewing the posters.

“This feast day is the last of the great trifecta of late spring solemnities — Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi,” said John Bergsma, a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. “Through these feasts, the church reminds us of foundational truths of our faith before we return to ordinary time.”

Rigert is a member of St. Cecilia Parish.